JOHOR BARU: Starring in a concert when youre only four may be daunting for most children, but Down Syndrome child Najihah Mohd Lazam had no qualms dressing up as a chubby cat for her kindergarten graduation.
Najihah, gave an entertaining performance even though she had just recovered from a high fever two days before the ceremony.
Im very proud of her, said her mother Fauziah Hamzah, 45, adding that her daughter enjoyed taking part in performances.
Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation of Johor Baru held its annual graduation ceremony recently at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
The ceremony, which honoured twelve graduates who will leave the centre to attend Year One next year, also featured a concert by the students and parents.
Chu Pei Qi, six, was chosen to represent her classmates to give a meaningful thank-you speech to all the teachers who had helped them along the way.
Special guests included Kiwanians from Kiwanis International Hsin Hsing Clubs and Kiwanis Club of Chong Mei from Taiwan.
Among the proud parents were Kong Ka Buong, 41, and his wife Tie Ing Mey, 41 as their youngest son, Samuel Kong, six, was one of the graduates on that day.
Kong expressed his gratefulness to the Kiwanis centre for their support and guidance in taking care of their Down Syndrome child.
To be honest, we would have been lost if it wasnt for the centre, said Kong, who enrolled his son when he was only four months old.
Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation oversees the Early Intervention Programme for the special children where they not only teach the children to cope with daily tasks, but the parents as well so that they are able to be independent after graduating from the centre.
Our son, Samuel, was initially afraid of other people, but now he is very friendly and mixes well with the other children, added Kong.
Also present was Tebrau MP Teng Boon Soon, who urged the public to go that extra mile when it comes to helping Down Syndrome children adapt to society.
It may not be sufficient to just express our sympathy, he said, but we need to go one step further so that these children will have a place in our society.
Teng also presented RM5,000 to the Kiwanis Club for a new centre that will be ready in the middle of next year.